The flap over President Obama’s speech to students on Tuesday has exposed quite a bit of hypocrisy from the far right. Media Matters notes one big batch of hypocrisy from Texas State Board of Education member Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands.
“On NPR’s All Things Considered, host Noah Adams, introducing a report on President Obama’s September 8 speech to schoolchildren, stated that ‘some parents and conservatives … called it a political intrusion into the school day.’ But NPR did not note that one of the conservatives quoted in the report, Texas State Board of Education member Barbara Cargill, has repeatedly engaged in political intrusions into the Texas school system, seeking — sometimes successfully — to change Texas schools’ curriculum to fit her conservative ideology.”
Cargill protested to NPR that the Obama administation had bypassed state and local school boards by sending notices of the speech directly to schools. She said that put schools in a difficult position, forcing them to anger some parents if they let students hear the speech and others if they didn’t. She also worried about students:
“If they (parents) opt their children out, they’re going to feel ostracized. They’re going to have to leave the comfort of their classroom to be dismissed to a gym.”
Please. That’s really weak sauce. Has anyone ever known students who were upset because they had to leave “the comfort of their classrom” to go to the gym or pretty much anywhere else? Is that the best reason Cargill has?
In any case, Cargill and other right-wingers complained that President Obama would “politicize” our children’s classrooms (which, of course, didn’t happen). But Media Matters points out the many ways that Cargill has done just that in her position as a State Board of Education member, especially during the process of revising science curriculum standards for Texas public schools.
Remember when some folks thought Cargill would be a more moderate replacement for Don McLeroy as state board chair last spring? Hardly.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo notes that another Texas State Board of Education member, David Bradley, R-BeaumontBuna, complained about President Obama’s speech despite his own history of politicizing the education of Texas schoolchildren.